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TitleAE Rituals
TagsAncient Egypt Egyptology Theory Rituals
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ANCIENT EGYPTIAN RtTUAL PRACTICE:

ir-ht AND nt-'

Carolyn Diane Routledge

A thesis submitted in confonnity with the requirements

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations

University of Toronto

O Copyright by Carolyn Diane Routledge 2001

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appropriate for the king to daim to have exceeded the accompliçhments of

his precursors in expeditions and building projects.

In Egyptian thought, the king was responsibIe for proper nilership of

the Iand under his authority (Biumerithal I W O : 173-2201. This responsibilïty

incIuded keeping the Iand and the people within it prosperous and orderly.

The king was to guard the borders and extend the boundaries of the Iand

through conquering and pacifying foreign temtories. Related to thiç concept

was the fact that the king was seen as the commander of the army

(Blumenthd 1970: 205-256). The king was an eager and successfd warrïor

and leader of his army and he waç therefore feared by his enemies. The king

dso was skilled at recognizing, restraining, and punishing his foreign

enemieç and those who rebelled against his rule.

AIso related to proper dership was the idea that the king was

responsibIe for his subjects who owed him their allegiance (Blumenthal1970:

264-418). The king, through his wisdom, SM, and pleasing manner, kept his

subjects happy, safe, and healthy. These attributes were demonstrated

through the choice of wise councillors, the promotion of young people, being

merciful and respectful to subjects, and providing for their physicd needs.

In return, the king could expect his subjects to give him their love, physical

effort, and lives.

FinaIIy, the king was responsible for preserving order -- ma'at - in the

naturd world and human society (BlumenthaI 1970: 432-441). This Iast

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responsibilïty could, in part, be accompIished by observing the duties of the

ideal king as described above, but the king also codd promote the

preservation of rna'at through other means, such as actively speaking ma'at

(Blumenthal1970: 432, Hl -1).

When this ideology of the roIe and duties of the king in ancient

Egyptian thinkuig is compared with the charaderistics of kingship comected

to the titIe nb irt-ht, it can be concluded that they overlap to a large degree.

The connections between the titIe nb irt-ht and its use in a cultic context reflect

the king's ided reIationship to the divine as described by Blumenthal. Some

of the building contexts ako relate to the king's relationship to the divine

through the construction of tempIes (eg., Tutankhamunrs restoration stele,

chart #4, d.156).

The royd diaracter of contexts of nb irt-ht are rdated to the king's

proper dership of the land under his authority and his responsibilities to his

subjects. This proper rdership aIso is refi ected in the connection of this titIe

to court ceremonid through the ceremonies of crowning, enthronement and

the celebration of the Sed-festivaI (cf. BIurnenthal1970: 37-53; Barta 1975: 44-

70; also see references to the Sed-festival in chart #4, d.25,68,152,153,154).

Royd contexts also indude some of the building references. For example, in

Theban tomb #226 (chart #4, d.155) the context of nb kt-kt is the presentation

of jewellery and objects for the palace, referred to as monuments, to the king

and queen. Finally, the royal context of this title includes the provision for

Page 415

MDAIK

Medinet Habu

R ~ É

SAK

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W b

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